If you live in California, you’ll probably have to wait a bit longer to buy CBD edibles in stores. A proposed bill, which would have reversed a ban on CBD-infused foods, was put in “suspense” this week.
This legislative maneuver, which comes as a huge disappointment to the CBD industry in California, puts the bill on hold, probably until early 2020 at least.
The bill had bipartisan support, had passed through five committees, and was widely expected to be signed into law. The details of why the legislation is now on hold are unclear.
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Shops and restaurants in Washington will soon be pulling CBD gummies and drinks off their shelves following a recent statement from the state’s Department of Agriculture that CBD is not a legal food additive.
The statement, which came out at the beginning of August, is now being followed up with industry education — rather than store raids. Explains Steve Fuller, assistant director of food safety at the state’s Department of Agriculture:
“What we’re hoping to do is let folks know that’s not in compliance with the law and that many of them [are] either removing CBD as an ingredient or discontinuing distribution of the product.”
Between Washington’s current stance on CBD edibles and California’s failure to pass legislation that would allow for CBD-infused foods, Oregon is currently the only state on the West Coast to allow the sale of CBD-infused food products.
2019 has been a big year for hemp. A new report, released this week by Vote Hemp (a Washington-based hemp advocacy organization), shows hemp farming in the US to have quadrupled from 2018 to 2019.
The 2018 Farm Bill, which officially legalized hemp (and its extracts), launched a hemp boom this year, with 511, 442 acres of farmland licensed to grow the crop. That’s an increase from 78,176 acres in 2018.
It’s worth noting that that number doesn’t necessarily reflect the actual hemp harvest, and Vote Hemp plans to update the numbers as they come in. Still, the harvest promises to be a huge increase over last year.
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The USDA released a report this week detailing the status of the industrial hemp industry in Canada. With the scintillating title, “Canada: Industrial Hemp Production, Trade and Regulation,” the report reviews the development of the legal hemp industry over the last 20 years of legal production.
According to the report, CBD is still highly regulated despite the legalization of cannabis. Though there are multiple legal ways to obtain CBD in Canada, “currently, the sale of natural health products (NHPs) containing any cannabinoid (including CBD) in Canada is prohibited.”
So no CBD gummies for Canadians, yet.
The report also emphasizes that it remains illegal to carry cannabis (including CBD-containing products) across Canada’s international border. Good to remember if you’ll be traveling there anytime soon.
In New Mexico this week, hemp rules proposed by the state’s Department of Agriculture were unanimously approved by New Mexico State University’s board of regents. This is an important step in the process of establishing a hemp program in the state.
The Hemp Manufacturing Act was signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham following the 2019 legislative session. It’s early days for the state’s hemp program, but NMDA Secretary Jeff Witte reports that already investors have put millions of dollars into the new industry.
And finally, as a reminder that CBD is not legal everywhere in the world, a truly tragic story from Israel was reported this week. A 66-year old man suffering from stage four colorectal cancer had his home raided and his supply of CBD oil taken by police.
The man, who has a license for medical cannabis, ordered CBD oil from abroad after not being able to find it locally. According to Israeli police, “the search was conducted in accordance with a court order following a report of suspected drug import.”
The man’s family credits CBD oil with pain relief and help with sleep.